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20121222
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tomorrow afternoon. host: both majority leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell both expressed optimism after the meeting with the president. what is the basis of their optimism? is this a sign we might be one step, two steps, through step closer to a deal? caller: it does appear we are a step closer to a deal. they are talking about doing is extraordinarily popular stuff. except for the big marquee item, which is letting taxes rise on the wealthy. the rest of the stuff they are looking at doing the stuff they do all the time. it is extending an expiring tax policies. they know the benefit businesses. extent college tuition credits. there are looking at protecting people from the alternative minimum tax. it is all very urgent stuff that needs to be done. there are only two remotely controversial pieces of this, that is what to do with the estate tax and to how to define the wealthy people whose taxes are going to go up. the rest of it is, basically protecting people from tax hikes. i guess extending unemployment benefits and sometimes controversial for the republicans. it appears to have agre
, steny could have come up with a better met it at that for than that. that was senator reid and mcconnell and congressman hoyer in washington. brian sullivan is here and refuse rend al sharpton and richard wolf on assignment and joining us on set is rana and in washington eugene robinson. gene, thanks for getting dragged out of bed this morning. what was your initial reaction watching that clip of those three guys talking about this thing? >> you know, where are we? my initial feeling was this isn't going anywhere, and we have to go over the cliff and then they'll fix it. that's amy initial reaction. it doesn't sound like there's anything productive happening, if that's what everybody is still saying about the state of the negotiations. there don't seem to be any real negotiations. >> i have to say, i ought thought this is exactly where we'd be right now. in the beginning i couldn't believe it. >> why did you think that? >> because she's smarter than you. >> i middle east everybody is. >> i called up our washington bureau chief who is smart. right after the elections when everybody starte
have to have that first vote done in a timely way so that both senator reid and senator mcconnell can leave to have the designated meeting with president obama. mr. cochran: mr. president, let me join with the senator from maryland in commending all senators for the expeditious way we've been able to move this bill but particularly the chairwoman herself, who's provided strong leadership, capable leadership, fairness, a sense of fairness for all senators, and i thank her for the honor of serving with her on this committee. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate senatorses can attend the weekly caucus meetings. this morning they approve and extension of the farm intelligence v it allows the government to continue intercepting overseas communication. it extends legal immunity phone companies that help the government wiretap the domestic phone calls. president obama plans to sign the bill. when the senate is back we are expecting senators to continued work on the $60 billion hurricane sandy relief package. negotiations continue on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.
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